What inspires creativity? Culture's top dogs answer the burning question in a new film by Liberatum
'Most of us do not even know how to ask a question. Most of us do not see the root of the word "question" is "quest". Most of us don't have a quest in our life,' laments Richard Saul Wurman, founder of TED - the global ideas platform that unearths and fosters neoteric thought movements by uniting technology, entertainment and design - during an interview for a new short film titled Inspiring Creativity.
Created by Liberatum (the people behind a global curriculum of multi-disciplinary festivals, original programming and creative collaborations), presented by illy (the coffee-makers whose longstanding art world ties are documented in our W*176 issue) and directed by Liberatum founder Pablo Ganguli and polymath Tomas Auksas, the film explores both creativity's definition and the catalysts that inspire it, through the minds of some of the world's leading cultural figures.
The 12-minute project unites a coterie of creative peers and Wallpaper* collaborators from the disciplines of art, design, fashion, music, technology and architecture including: Academy Award winner Hans Zimmer, Inez van Lamsweerde, Vinoodh Matadin, Joan Smalls, Johan Lindeberg, Karim Rashid, Academy Award nominee Lee Daniels, Lola Montes Schnabel, Tracey Emin, Moby and Paul Schrader.
In joining these voices the film illuminates the zeitgeist of creativity, while also encouraging viewers to flex their creative muscle. Some, such as Academy Award nominee James Franco offer advice of what works for them: 'What I've learned to do - and just started doing this past year - is painting on my lunch hour,' says Franco from a movie set. 'I paint the actors in the film. This is just a way of generating more work from a single project.'
Others, like musician Moby, contest creativity's current climate: 'I feel like we live in a culture where people are being content at just being good enough,' he explains. 'To be a viable artist or musician or filmmaker, you really had to master your craft. To be a photographer, you had to understand your camera, your film, the developing process, the printing process - now you don't need to know any of that.'
Sometimes, creativity's parameters are limitless, at other times defined - as is the case for screenwriter and director Paul Schrader who believes that, 'true creativity comes from restriction and limitation'.
For composer Hans Zimmer it's simply about honest passion: 'I've never written a note of music for money, because money is not inspiring. If anything, it gets in the way of things.' Speaking of distractions, Tracey Emin poignantly explains how remaining single guards her creative spark, which has in turn led to a real fear of falling deeply in love.
All told, this spirited thought-space is certainly a productive one on which to meditate.